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The Lovebirds, the romantic comedy-mystery hybrid starring Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae, will now debut on Netflix in lieu of a theatrical release. 

Paramount Pictures, the studio behind the film, pulled it from its original big screen opening, which was supposed to be April 3, as the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold of the world. The Lovebirds was one of two major Paramount titles, the other being A Quiet Place Part II, that the studio took off its schedule as the full ramifications of COVID-19 began to be felt. According to Deadline, the deal for The Lovebirds has been in the works for a while and may be global.

The Lovebirds stars Nanjiani (The Eternals, The Big Sick) and Rae (Insecure) as a couple who find themselves unintentionally embroiled in a murder mystery and must not just clear their names but make sure their relationship can survive the night. The film also has the nice bona fide of shooting in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.

Directed by Michael Showalter, whose previous collaboration with Nanjiani was the acclaimed 2017 comedy The Big Sick, The Lovebirds should have had its world premiere this past week at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas. But SXSW was one of the first major media events to be cancelled as the coronavirus outbreak turned into a pandemic, with Nanjiani also pulling out of a promotional appearance at the event even before the whole conference was entirely scrapped. 

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